“CLIMATE CHANGE is occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.”
So says — in response to a request from Congress — the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the country’s preeminent institution chartered to provide scientific advice to lawmakers.
The editorial goes on to summarize the main points of the America’s Climate Choices reports – including urgent recommendations to cut carbon dioxide emissions and launch adaptive measures – noting that:
None of this should come as a surprise. None of this is news. But it is newsworthy, sadly, because the Republican Party, and therefore the U.S. government, have moved so far from reality and responsibility in their approach to climate change.
The entire editorial is strongly worded, particularly when it comes to those who do not agree with the scientific consensus on climate change:
Climate-change deniers, in other words, are willfully ignorant, lost in wishful thinking, cynical or some combination of the three. And their recalcitrance is dangerous, the report makes clear, because the longer the nation waits to respond to climate change, the more catastrophic the planetary damage is likely to be — and the more drastic the needed response.
The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang blog frequently features climate-related posts by Climate Central’s online editor and policy analyst, Andy Freedman, but coverage of the topic elsewhere in the paper has sometimes been criticized as too soft on climate science critics. It will be interesting to see if that changes.